17 March 2011

I'm taking a class - here's my first lesson

I'm taking a class on writing a memoir. We have to describe a family object in 200 words or less. Here's my take, and, believe me, I had trouble keeping it under the word count; in fact, it is exactly 200 words and could be much more.

I'm looking at a large, yellow Pyrex bowl, the last of a set of different colored nesting bowls. It's a buttery, lemon-pie kind of yellow, and the inside is white, smooth and shiny like a polished shell, with traces of fine gray scratches from whisks and spoons going around and around on the bottom.

The bowl nicely reflects the light, and I can see my hands through it when I hold it up to the bulb. It is pleasing to look at and to hold. Its heft is solid; on the kitchen scale, it weighs 3.41 pounds. 

Somehow it reminds me of the belly of a pregnant woman. Round, warm, something people are drawn to rub. It is a vestige of my childhood.

Yes, the bowl holds warmth. That's probably why it makes such a good bread bowl, cradling yeasty dough as it rises round against a dish towel cover. I remember getting to pull back the towel and punch the dough down with my fist. Wumph!

I guess I love this bowl, which my mother has passed on to me. I'm amazed that it's one of the few things that traveled through my childhood unbroken, un-lost, unsullied with sadness.

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